Apr 22, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: You begin please,  Auntie Em.

JW our resident Friday wizard of puz is here with back to back puzzles. Today he presents us with a vertical challenge in which EM is added to four 2 word phrases, changing the meaning and clued for whimsy. Each theme answer and the reveal are in Down answers. Overall I found this easier once I gave in to the theme existing only in the Downs. The two symmetrical grid spanners surround two 12 letter fill with a 9 letter reveal which mirrors 1 down.  This tantalized me for a bit with the ME therein thinking maybe there was going to a reverse fill of some sort. But it made no sense, so I moved on knowing it was not part of the theme.

The grid is an unusual one, and checking the NYT database (I do not know of one for the LAT) it is unique. The double sevens bracketing the 15 letter theme fill and triple sixes under a seven in the SW and NE corners with a bunch of stacked three letter fill. The longer non-theme fill is typical JW with many multiple words. IN A CAGE,  ESCORTS,  UP TO NOW,  SCENE VI, GROANER, STORMED IN. HOME ALONE. EURO COINS.  Okay off we go....

3D. Lining with raised decorations? : EMBOSSING AROUND (15). My least favorite, while the underlying phrase is fun (bossing around) and embossing is a fine transformation, I do not get lining or AROUND.

6D. Mideast leader's personal CPA? : EMIRS AUDITOR (12). This however is very cute and the IRS auditor goes to work in Saudi Arabia.

22D. Snoopy starting a trip? : EMBARKING DOG (12). Simple and sweet.

11D. Insurance for royalty? : EMPRESS COVERAGE (15). Press coverage is a basketball term that may not be familiar to all, but the perps were very fair.

36D. Robber's demand ... or what to do to solve four long puzzle answers? : STICK 'EM UP(9). Again, with all the three letter fill this overall was not hard.

I also want you to watch for classic clues/fill from the Greek/Roman world.


1. "For __ had eyes, and chose me": Othello : SHE. Sweet Desdemona begins our Friday journey.

4. Utterly failed at : BLEW. A somewhat modern usage.

8. With great urgency : DIRELY. The dire wolves are back Sunday!

14. Gobbler : TOM. What cool trivia; I learned from the interweb only the adult male turkey makes the gobble, gobble sound. The adult male is called the "tom" turkey. The female or hen turkey makes a gentle clucking or clicking sound. The hen never gobbles.

15. Blue-skinned deity : RAMA. Interesting HISTORY. But why  BLUE? Worth a read.
16. Ferrous sulfate target : ANEMIA. A form of iron used for iron deficiency anemia.

17. Fed. financial agency : OMBOffice of Management and Budget works for the President.

18. "Metamorphoses" poet : OVID. I studied this WORK in Latin, a very influential piece.

19. How pooches' smooches are delivered : DAMPLY. Cute especially if you like dogs and have been slobbered.

20. Model T contemporary : REO. Named after Mr. Olds. Then, 33D. Bygone small car : GEO.

21. "The Iliad" subject : WAR.We also have this important Greek TOME.

22. Goes with : ESCORTS. No DF here.

23. Ancient theater props : MASKS. More from the Classics.
25. Added result : SUM.

27. Bellicose deity : ARES. More from the classics. Ares is the Greek god of war, one of the Twelve Olympian gods and the son of Zeus and Hera.

28. Pitcher of milk? : ELSIE. For Borden.

29. It may include a model, briefly : APBAll Points Bulletin. Presumably a make and model of car.

30. Pumped item : GAS.

31. "Now!" : DO IT.

32. Storm consequence : OUTAGE. Power, phone and cable.

34. French possessive pronoun : SES. In French this to me is outright wrong; ses is a possessive adjective that must be attached to a noun. The possessive pronouns in French are like 45D. Yuma : Yours :: Toulouse : à ___ : TOI. In English the pronouns and the adjectives are the same word. Of course this is all from memory from 55 years ago, so Kazie, C. C. tell me if I am wrong...the adjectives.

my                   mon     ma mes
your                 ton       ta         tes
his, her, its son      sa         ses
our                 notre    notre nos
your               votre    votre vos
their                 leur     leur leurs

37. Priceline options : INNS. They hired Shatner back.

38. Have a special place for : ADORE.

39. __ work: menial labor : SCUT. This comes either from the Irish word for meaningless or maybe the medical profession.

40. Batt. terminal : NEGative.

41. Plastered : STINKO.

42. Amos with eight Grammy nominations : TORI.

43. "Castle" producer : ABC. About to be cancelled.

46. Ruination : HAVOC. It is listed as a synonym but not my first thought.

47. __-dieu : PRIE.
48. Take responsibility for : OWN. Another modern usage, I guess from the old saying own up to.

49. Hair care brand since 1930 : BRECK. You remember this Breck girl?

50. Pun, sometimes : GROANER.

52. Motor Trend's 1968 Car of the Year : GTO. By Pontiac. My brother's was blue.
54. Eggs on toast, perhaps : ROE. Fish eggs, silly. Oh, you were not...

55. Diverted : AMUSED.

56. Dutch export : EDAM. Cheese again.

57. Desired result : AIM.

58. Swiss city, to most locals : GENEVE. Geneva to the rest of us.

59. The Taj Mahal, e.g. : TOMB. It is a mausoleum with a specific tomb as its inspiration, I think. LINK.

60. African bovine : GNU. Bearded....

61. Turns out to be : ENDS IN. This was really a struggle.

62. Elements in vital statistics : AGES.

63. Dubious communication method : ESP.


1. Entered angrily : STORMED IN.

2. Huge holiday film : HOME ALONE. Where are you Macaulay? This is more than 25 years old.

4. Window-shop : BROWSE.

5. Kilauea sight : LAVA.

7. Singles group, e.g.? : WAD.  Funny, especially with other meanings aside from  "a large amount of paper money, usually in a wallet or pants pocket. Sometimes referred to as "a wad of dough.'"

8. June honorees : DADS.

9. Visiting the vet, maybe : IN A CAGE.

10. Suckerfish : REMORA. These hitchhikers....

12. Light melodies : LILTS.

13. Appreciative shouts : YAYS.

24. They encourage modeling : KITS.

26. As yet : UP TO NOW.

32. Word with meal or cake : OAT.

35. Change overseas, maybe : EURO COINS. They introduced a new one last week. LINK.

39. George Clooney, for one : STAR.

41. When in Act I Duncan arrives at Macbeth's castle : SCENE VI. Double Shakespeare this week.

44. Slants : BIASES.

46. Cold War threats : H BOMBS.

47. Spin docs : P R MEN.

50. "Eleni" author Nicholas : GAGE.

51. Perfect place : EDEN. If you like gardens.

53. Not that exciting : TAME.

56. H-like letter : ETA. The seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, only the capital looks like ( Η, η).

Eta is an anagram of eat: i will be eating well this week end at the annual seder that begins the Passover holiday with my family all in attendance. Meanwhile, I hope you ate up JW's latest, which included no yeast so it is kosher for Passover. Until next time, Lemonade out.


Manac said...

Good morning all!

Any puzzle with some canine seasoning
tossed in is ok by me.

Off to work. Who knew putting two kids
through college could be so expensive?

Read you all later

Oas said...

Every cloud has a silver lining. Where's the lining? Around the cloud:)

fermatprime said...


Another JW toughie! Thanks! Thanks to Lemon also.

No cheats, but took awhile. OMB was perped.

Castle is one of my favorite shows. Darn.


Hungry Mother said...

Almost didn't get the RAMA/WAD cross. Other than that, just the usual Friday slog. SCUT was my last entry. I should know that one well from my youth of doing any kind of dirty work for some cash.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Running late today. Got the theme easily enough, but still found the puzzle to be challenging. Agree that EMBOSSING AROUND was the weakest of the theme answers. TO be honest, I also struggled with EMBARKING DOG, simply because I didn't think of BARKING DOG as an underlying phrase. With EMBARKING___ in place I explained the theme to my son (who's on vacation this week and was looking over my shoulder) and asked him what a common phrase was that started with BARKING. He said BARKING DOG immediately, so I guess it's just me.

Argyle said...

Say, that reminds me; BARKING DOGS can mean tired feet.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Was making no progress in the center, so I thought maybe I should try to figure out the theme. That definitely helped and allowed me to change STONED to STINKO. CSO to Jerome with GROANER. Nicely done, JW and L714.

Got REMORA immediately, must be deeply EMBOSSed in my brain.

Interesting that Germany now has a 5-Euro coin. Canada has its Loonie and Toonie (Twonie?). Meanwhile, here in the US the $1 coin was last minted back in '11.

Lem, PRESS COVERAGE was not a basketball reference. Just ask Trump or Hillary.

Happy Earth Day, all.

Lemonade714 said...

O AS thanks for the perspective on lining

D-O with the Heat back in the playoffs and March madness barely done my mind was not in politics duh me.

Fermat, for me the writers of Castle have no more clue where they are going with the story.

Winter is coming GOT where are you?

billocohoes said...

I've often wondered/been annoyed at ETA sometimes being clued as a Greek "H" and sometimes as a Greek vowel. H is not a vowel, I thought epsilon is the equivalent of an English "E". Any Greek linguists out there?

Anonymous said...

I think d-o is correct re press coverage but press coverage is also a football defense. Not basketball.

Anonymous said...

Pronunciation of ETA "[i], as in “meet”, but shorter, not so long. This is one of the three [i]’s in the Greek alphabet; they all have identical pronunciation. The reason for this redundancy has to do with Classic Greek, where they were not redundant."

It looks like our H but does not sound like it. To me it sounds more like EAT AH

kazie said...

You are absolutely right about the possessive adjectives. The German ones are also adjectives. The French possessive pronouns are as you said, but can also be le mien/la mienne, le tien/la tienne, le sien/la sienne, etc.

I was unable to defeat this one, added or subtracted letters often being my downfall. The only area I got out completely was the SW corner, with just a dusting of correct answers elsewhere. There were too many complete unknowns to suss enough theme letters to see what the trick was.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I like the challenge of a JW Friday and enjoyed this one, as usual. Caught the theme with the added EM's so the reveal was easy to fill in. Fav was barking dog.

Nice job, Jeffrey, and great expo, Lemony.

As you can see by my presence, I have escaped the clutches of the FBI. So far! 💰 💸 💵

Have a great day.

Point of order said...

Anon @7:57
Guess you've never heard of "Full Court Press" as a defense in basketball?

You're an idiot!

They call me idiot said...

Thank you for making my point. It's called "full court press" in basketball. "Press coverage" is a term for a football defense.

Anonymous said...

Pft. Some of you must be living abroad if you haven't heard the presidential candidates complaining about their press coverage.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Started this one last night, but the first pass was so bare I set it down until morning. What a difference some daylight makes - marched right through. Interesting grid design!

Favorite clue has to be "singles group?".

Morning, Lemon, the blue article was fascinating.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Hey anon at 7:57. Read the rules. They are right there in plain sight above the comment window. Show some respect for the protocols of this blog or go away.

Thought this would be a total bust. Chipped away one letter at a time and finally made it.

Masterful puzzle. I'm not delighted with the French, but otherwise no nits.

I believe PRESS COVERAGE refers to being able to get into the news, rather than a somewhat clumsily stated basketball term.

The presence or absence of which can reveal certain BIASES.

Gary @ yesterday - Flipped back and forth between the Tigers and the Wings, both of whom were shut out. Sad sports night in the D.

Tigers starters, except for Zimmerman, who has given up zero runs, have been uniformly awful. And our alleged closer has an ERA over 7. Cabrera hasn't done much. Upton is a total bust, on a pace for an astounding 300 strike out this year. If not for Kinsler and the surprising Saltalamacchia, they might be 3-11.

Wings seriously outplayed the Lightning last night, but couldn't crack the great wall of Bishop. The home team scored a rather flukey goal with about 2 minutes left to break a scoreless tie. I think that was more painful than getting blown out 5-0 would have been.

Tin - Another way to think about ICE is what the Lightning are advancing on. Congrats to your team.

Cool regards!

Husker Gary said...

Me too, Lemon. The NE corner bedeviled me but I’ve only got two students in Anatomy and Physiology today so I had the time. Snoopy gave me the gimmick

-I doubt if any of the EMIRS get audited
-PRESS COVERAGE in football - corner back right on the receiver
-A cornerback who gets beat in PRESS COVERAGE - “He BLEW it”
-Joann ate (choked down) liver for her ANEMIA in her second pregnancy
-Budget and government in the same sentence? Talk about yer oxymoron!
-3-letter old car and 4-letter old poet – gimmes
-Is WAR the first card game you learned?
-Much SCUT work here in Eastern Nebraska is done by Hispanics and Sudanese
-Bad terminal maintenence
-A word that ENDS IN “LY” is not always an adverb. “The lonely wolf howled mournfully at the moon”
-This WAD might have mostly ONES inside
-Revell car KITS were a staple of my yute
-Spin doctors specialize in manufacturing silk purses out of sow’s ears
-Jazz, former Husker Alex Gordon got a standing ovation for a catch in leftfield last night for KC
-Do you remember the movie where she came from an ESCORT Service?

Tinbeni said...

D-N-F ... Thanks Lemon for explaining my Rorschach Ink-Blot.

I know, I know, it's Friday ...
"Add-A-Couple-Of-Letters ... And-Create-Whacky-Phrase-DAY."
... But I was just never on Jeff's wavelength.

Jazz: Thanks, you're a "Good-Sport" ... and Bishop was that good ...
... and that is the only ICE I like ... though that win was hardly NEAT.


Big Easy said...

Difficulty it was today. I caught the EM immediately, filling EMBOSS, EMIR'S, and EMPRESS but not the rest of their fills. That made the North easy to complete, but the South was another story. After a V8 moment, I added COVERAGE and the SE fell into place. I needed ESP for GNU because I didn't know wildebeest were bovine or what TORI Amos looked like-thanks Lemonade.

But the SW ad Mid-South created HAVOC for me and I actually gave up after 30 minutes and almost BLEW this one before coming back and finishing. I had EM___DOG and noticed the IRS and thought AUDITOR but was also thinking HOT, DAMAGE, STINKY, and Saturn SKY before OAT cakes, OUTAGE, STINKO, and GEO (Metro or Storm?) finished the area.

REO, GTO, GEO- a car day? One of mine is in the shop with a busted exhaust manifold caused by a bad catalytic converter. $$$$$ Paltinum.

I dug a hole in the SW by initially guessing SUNRISE for SCENE VI as it was a wrong WAG and I was not AMUSED. Then I remembered my wife's gold GENEVE watch ( which I would love to hock) and finished the thing. Unknowns were 'Castle', PRIE dieu, GAGE, SCUT work. and RAMA.

D-O, I was also thinking STONED before STINKO.

Big Easy said...

HG- '-Much SCUT work here in Eastern Nebraska is done by Hispanics and Sudanese" while the locals sit on their rear ends and collect from the government.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Another interesting puzzle from Jeffrey which exceeded my educational experiences, I'm not EMbarrassed to say. Filled it, but had lots of red-letter help. Thanks, Lemon.

I got EM early so was expecting EURO COINS to also start EM when a long down started with "E". Hit the "M" several times and couldn't believe it turned red. Great ruse!

Chuckled at EMBARKING DOG, although I detest the little yapper now living next door when he EMBARKs from the back door 20 feet from my sleeping head, BARKING his fool head off.

Not trying to iMPRESS anyone, but I did a lot of PRESS COVERAGE in 20 years writing for pay. Think the term comes from those noisy monster printing PRESSes the news was sent to.

With four kids I also did a lot of BOSSING AROUND, you betcha! Hope never to have the experience of meeting with IRS AUDITOR.

SCUT is also the upright tail of deer & hares. It is also a university in C.C.'s former home country.

DAMPLY took awhile. Tongue fit & better describes dog kisses.

Unknown said...

Greek eta (the capital letter of which looks like our H) is a long e; epsilon is a short one.

C6D6 Peg said...

Great puzzle by JW. Thanks, for an enjoyable outing, even though it looked bleak after the first pass.

Lemonade, it always confuses me in crosswords as well with the A TOI, A MOI, etc. vs. MON, SON, SES. I took 8 years of French, and A MOI, A TOI, literally translates "to me" or "to you", where MON and TON, SES, literally translate to my, your, and his. Hope that helps!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

HG @ 10:00 - Pretty Woman

WES, another challenging Friday crossword puzzle from JW. I slogged thru it with no googles this time but came up a DNF when I missed the LAVA / OVID / WAD Natick in the top center. Like Tin, my sheet resembled a Rorschach test; too many write overs to list but most if not all were discussed in others' posts

My only nit to pick is why all of the French (or for that matter, any foreign language) clues / solves in puzzles these days? I might know a couple foreign words here and there but I haven't, nor want to, commit these to memory. So bring the stubborn person I am, I guess I'll just have to "rant" here !! 😜 I guess Tin has his aversion to ICE; mine is to NICE (or any other French word/city). And the irony for me with this is that I LOVE French Wine ... C'est la vie ...

Great write up as always Lemony; best to you and your family for the Passover celebration

AnonymousPVX said...

A tough slog but a successful solve.

I couldn't believe the result of the first pass, so much blank I almost stopped. Tough clueing as well.

Lucina said...

Jeffrey Wechsler now seems to be our Friday torturer much as Barry Silk is on Saturday. But don't get me wrong, I enjoy it! This was very doable though starting slowly and one corner at a time. The SW corner surrendered first and I, too, thought of Jerome at GROANER.

Then the bottom center came easily but I had LAME instead of TAME and didn't think of changing GLO. Grrr.

Next the top center and so it went with only a few erasures, EGO then GAS, ASAP/DOIT. I thought "dubious communication method" for ESP was brilliant!

Well done, Jeff Wex and splendidly analyzed by Lemonade! Thank you both. Blessings to you, Lemon, as you observe Passover.

I'm so glad you are out of the clutches of the FBI and whoever else "threatened" you!

Wishing all a fabulous Friday!

Dudley said...

Husker 10:00 - Moe was faster with "Pretty Woman". Meanwhile, I'm sorry for Joann that she had to endure liver to compensate for anemia. I'd rather nibble a bucket of rusty washers, myself.

Jayce said...

I admit it; having S--T at 39A, my first thought was not SCUT.

Donald Trump has gotten a lot of PRESS COVERAGE.

I have gone on the same rant as Chairman Moe about clues and answers, especially clues, in a foreign language. Yesterday's "Le cinquième mois" didn't have a single English word in it anywhere.

A good, tough Jeffrey Wechsler Friday puzzle.

Michael said...

billocohoes @ 7:37 AM:

<< I've often wondered/been annoyed at ETA sometimes being clued as a Greek "H" and sometimes as a Greek vowel. H is not a vowel, I thought epsilon is the equivalent of an English "E". Any Greek linguists out there? >>

You're right -- a "Greek "H" ", meaning our letter H, is actually the rough breathing mark (') in front of a vowel. Vowels can be long or short, so epsilon ("simple e") and eta; and omicron (small o) and omega (big o).

Ol' Man Keith said...

Surprised myself!
This is my first Wechsler pzl solved w/o a single cheat or confirmation lookup. It wasn't easy, but the thing about these super-long answers is that once you twig onto the whole thing you win a lot of useful letters.
This time it was very helpful to uncover the theme early.
Wasn't there a strange batch of 3-letter autos here? Big Easy @10:04 noticed it too. I really didn't expect to see GEO and REO in the same pzl when they weren't part of the theme.
But overall, this was a fine Friday experience, both for JW'S pzl and Lemonade's exegesis.

Chairman Moe said...

Jayce @ 12:39

Regarding your and my rant . . . one of my new favorite Crossword Constructors is Fred Piscop, whose interview was done here at the CC in January. I recently did a couple of his from the USA Today Crossword Page, and was pleased with his work.

Re-read the second interview question / answer; his comment about: "I avoid stuff like: foreign words that have no English usage" is spot on to what I believe. And while my sarcastic close to my rant post above used C'est la vie, that (at least) is a commonly known (and used) phrase. A constructor and editor can still offer a challenge to their solvers without them needing to be bilingual.

Le cinquième mois - as you stated - is hardly a phrase non-French speaking people would use or know. And while the word "cinque" is French for 5, it was not apparent to me that it meant 5th. "Moi" is the word for "me", and I stupidly thought the addition of the letter "s" made it plural! ;^)

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Escaped with only one square white-out - O in GROANER. Otherwise, solve was relatively easy for a Friday. Puzzle was a delight to work on. STINKO, pooch smooch delivered - DAMPLY, EMBARKING DOG. Some great fill. After getting the unifier @ 38d, went back and entered EM at EMPRESS……. Had fun with GENEVE. Got ARES after deciding against Mars.
Kudos to Jeff on a great tour de force.

Re SES: When learning English grammar, words like 'my' and 'his" were termed pronouns even though they are used like an adjective. So I don't have a strong issue with the cluing of SES. I found more evidence on-line for Lemon's and Kazie's view, however.

TinoTechie said...

I remember your WAD photo being called a "Michigan Wad" when the C-note covered a wad of ones.

Nice puzzle that kicked my behind, as Jerry usually does.


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

SUM of a B****! I almost DO'd IT, but I BLEW it IN the END. Thanks Jeffrey, your puzzle was a GAS and I enjoyed the YAYS in my head when I finally got the theme.

Thanks Lem for calling out my error at 10d/19a (I had REpORA) and the write-up. I enjoyed the links and showing the reverse theme in juxtaposed answers. Did Jeffrey mean to do that?

NorthCentral is where I got started w/ BROWSE, OVID, LAVA, etc. I can't recall how I got going in the NW, I think it was thinking STORMED IN and 2x-checking perps and I was done. SouthCent was the next to fall since I recalled TOMB as clued a few months ago.

I finally broke the theme when recalling BR--- as BRECK. To much TV in my ute I guess, but that started the write-over fest in the NE and SW.

See, in the NE, 8d went from DADS to popS because pronto fit for 8a (JW is so dastardly that way so I went with it). Oles worked for 13d and tunes was perfect fill for 12d. Not!.

In the SW w/ G--E @50d, I WAG'd Gene. Neslie sounds Swiss... YAMoI (Yet Another Mess of Ink).

With an S__T in place, who else other than Jayce wanted S*** Work @39a? Not saying it's not Noble (also fit pronto!) work, just it sucks. Speaking of suck, being in H-Town, Floods came to mind @32a b/f OUTAGE (thanks OAT, but WTF is an OAT cake?).

Fav: Tho it wreaked ink HAVOC, STINKO. I thought of WKRP; Herb says STINKOrino. "DO IT" - b/f Johnny Fever scratched the record (Andy said, "Now")

Good to see you back Manac.

IM - Glad to see you're not IN CAGE'd and the APB is over.

D-O: Hand up for SToNed. I was happy w/ that - the real answer is STINKO :-)

I'll play later - time for Friday nap. Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Kindle deregistered me AGAIN for the second time in a few weeks due to a compulsory upgrade. I had to go through he-- to return to normal. It seems more like a down grade.
My upgrade to Microsoft 10 was more successful.

Avg Joe said...

Today was a brute. Came to understand the theme in bits and pieces, so it didn't help until the final theme fill with EmBarking dog. But at least that was big time help for that one. All told, a bit more of a struggle than I had time for, but I did get it. Just above the effort level and time commitment I'd prefer for a work day.

Going back a couple days to the "Jones" discussion, I thought of this tune. It fits the context, and it's pretty amusing as such. I Got a Real George Jones

Jerome said...

Come on, ranters... lighten up. Consider the puzzle as a whole and how clever and fun the theme was, and the fact that the vast majority of the fill was good or at least okay. Most importantly, you can only imagine how difficult and time consuming and mind boggling it can be to fill a grid with all that open, white space. SES... how terrible...the horror of it all!

Thought it was interesting that EMIRSAUDITOR has SAUDI in the center.

Not so interesting-

Tori Amos told a Saudi friend she's often impolite. Said the friend, who is the EMIRS AUDITOR, "I'M AS RUDE, TORI"

kazie said...

C6D6 Peg,
Think of the French possessives this way: A toi etc. is the same as "yours", as in "that book is yours". It's a possessive pronoun. Mon, ton, son are French for my, your, his/her/its, which in English, are personal pronouns in the possessive case. But the French equivalents are possessive adjectives.

Wilbur Charles said...

I thought ZEUS was the bellicose God. I had DrooLY for awhile. Of course EMPRESS got the P in there. So the owl says to the African bovine: "Who GNU?"